Book Review: Harris Tweed

Harris Tweed is more then just a fabric in the UK. It is an institution. The material is so revered that it has its own legislation—an official Harris Tweed is: “a tweed that has been hand-woven by the islanders at their homes in the Outer Hebrides, finished in the Outer Hebrides, and made from pure virgin wool dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides.”

Lara Platman’s gorgeous ode to the anglophile textile, Harris Tweed: From Land to Street, is an immersive introduction to the fabric. Through lush photography, informative behind-the-scenes text, and first person accounts from the people who make tweed their livelihood, Platman introduces the reader to an industry that’s as concerned with community and tradition as it is with producing quality tweed.

Harris Tweed follows Platman’s year spent in the world of the farmers, millers, and weavers of the rocky islands off the west coast of Scotland. The book explains in detail how the fabric is manufactured. Each chapter is devoted to a step in its production journey, including the wool and those who shear it, the mill, weavers, and other aspects of production, until Platman explores how the tweed is used as a final product in contemporary interior design and fashion.
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